Newman’s Own continues pubcasting largesse, this time providing $2.4 million

Newman’s Own Foundation, established by actor Paul Newman with proceeds from his line of grocery products, is giving $2.4 million in grants over two years to 13 public broadcasting stations and organizations. Connecticut Public Broadcasting, which Newman considered his local station, will receive $250,000. Getting $200,000 each are American Public Media / Minnesota Public Radio, CPB, KCET in Los Angeles, KCTS in Seattle, NPR, KETC in St. Louis, WNET in New York City and WHYY in Philadelphia. Recipients of $150,000 are Detroit Educational Television Foundation, WPBT in Miami and WSHU in Fairfield, Conn.

Voice of OC expands partnership with PBS SoCal

Voice of OC, the nonprofit investigative news agency in Orange County, Calif., is expanding its partnership with PBS SoCal. Voice of OC Editor-in-Chief Norberto Santana Jr. will appear weekly on KOCE-TV’s news program, Real Orange. “It’s a natural partnership,” said Mike Taylor, news director at PBS SoCal, in the Jan. 17 announcement. Santana said the partners hope to “give the public a front seat at public policy, not only after it’s being made but before it’s being made.”

PBS SoCal is the primary PBS member station for Los Angeles, the second-largest media market in the nation.

APTS, PBS, CPB among entities commenting to FCC on spectrum auctions

Several public-interest media organizations filed comments with the FCC regarding its October 2012 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for spectrum incentive auctions to clear bandwidth for mobile devices. Deadline for input was Jan. 25. The 45-page filing from the Association of Public Television Stations, CPB and PBS stresses that auction rules need to ensure the public’s universal access to television service. It also recommends that licensees have at least three years to complete transition to any new channel assignments; that the FCC take “every reasonable step” to avoid off-air time; and that the agency seek funding from Congress for a public education campaign.

Kentucky Legislature honors KET founder O. Leonard Press

O. Leonard Press, who founded Kentucky Educational Television in 1968 after lobbying the state legislature for 10 years, has received the 2012 Vic Hellard Jr. Award recognizing his distinguished public service. The award lauded Press was for launching innovative live coverage of state General Assembly in 1978 and for his long track record of supporting programming that exemplified the KET tagline, “Bringing Kentucky Together.”

“We are so pleased that Len Press is being recognized with this award,” said Shae Hopkins, KET executive director. “Through his vision and hard work, he created and established KET as Kentucky’s only broadcast network and one of the nation’s preeminent public broadcasting services. From KET’s inception, Len Press set forth the educational mission and priorities that still serve the commonwealth and nation today.”

The annual Hellard Award, named after the long-time executive director of the state’s Legislative Research Division, has since 1997 honored excellence in public service.

WKCC’s Friends of the Blues show to go national

The African-American Public Radio Consortium has added a new music show to its line-up of nationally distributed programs. Beginning in mid-March, WKCC in Kankakee, Ill. will syndicate a two-hour version of Friends of the Blues show  co-hosted by volunteer programmers D’Arcy “Shuffle Shoes” Ballinger and James “Dr. Skyy Dobro” Walker. The program is offered free to AAPRC through the PRSS ContentDepot. WKCC began exploring a distribution partnership with APPRC after the Public Radio Super Regional conference last November, said Mike Savage, g.m.  “There was a big push for collaboration and I thought, ‘Instead of contacting stations individually maybe I should look for a group that can reach out to many stations,” Savage said. “AAPRC is a perfect fit and they happened to be looking for a blues show.”

WKCC is licensed to Kankakee Community College and serves Kankakee , a city about 50 miles south of Chicago.

WXXI and Rochester Museum promote dialogue on race

WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., is teaming up with a local museum to encourage a community dialogue on race relations. The Rochester Museum & Science Center is hosting “Race: Are We So Different?” The traveling exhibit from the American Anthropological Association examines the history, human variations and personal experiences surrounding racial differences. WXXI-FM produced five feature-length reports prior to the exhibit’s Jan. 19 opening. The reports aired during Morning Edition and All Things Considered and examined the political and cultural history of racism, the science and genetics of human biological diversity, the link between race and health, and other matters. WXXI Radio’s daily 1370 Connection public affairs show also is producing four one-hour programs with WDKX-FM, a local urban contemporary station, which run weekly through Feb.

WGBH “fully adheres” to funding guidelines, it says in response to Nova critics

WGBH is defending its underwriting practices in the wake of complaints from FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) over Lockheed Martin’s sponsorship of Nova’s “Rise of the Drones.” In a statement late Tuesday afternoon, WGBH, the presenting station for the science series, said:  “WGBH fully adheres to PBS funding guidelines and takes our public trust responsibility very seriously.  With regard to Nova “Rise of the Drones,” Lockheed Martin’s sponsorship of Nova  is not a violation of the PBS underwriting guidelines.” “First and foremost,” the statement continued, “Lockheed Martin, like all WGBH/PBS program funders, had no editorial involvement in the program. Their credit on this episode was part of the ongoing recognition they have been receiving for their support of the Nova series since January 2012.  Their credit is included, along with other funders, for episodes in that period; their funding is not directed to or connected with any particular episode.” FAIR noted that the program included comments from Abe Karem, known as “the father of the Predator” drone.